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jw1739    9,441
1 hour ago, NewConvert said:

I am surprised that no one has commented on the federal election or the Israel Folau case.

I am really hoping that the Folau case ends up in the courts. To me this is the cross between contract law vs the implied freedom of speech vs the limit of employers to demand 24 hour access vs industry sector. I don't think that this type of situation has ever been tested and I would like to see some nuance being introduced.

Most of us are probably over both.

I think Folau is perfectly entitled to express his opinion about what he regards as sin and his belief that sinners will suffer punishment in a different life. IMO Rugby Australia (or whatever it is called) is the party showing small-mindedness and intolerance, not Folau. Folau is not personally threatening anyone specifically and should be free to express his views.

I see that Barry Humphries has just had his name removed from the Barry Award for expressing views on transgender issues.

Totally sick of political correctness permeating every nook and cranny of our society.

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Tesla    8,211

Nothing interesting in the federal election unless Shorten manages to throw it away somehow, which he is having a good crack at.

Whole thing is pretty shit, tired of the government putting it's hand out left, right, and center once you make more money than the average person, and Labor is going to take it even further.

But what can you do, just make even more or go to a low tax country for a few years.

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NewConvert    829
1 hour ago, jw1739 said:

Most of us are probably over both.

I think Folau is perfectly entitled to express his opinion about what he regards as sin and his belief that sinners will suffer punishment in a different life. IMO Rugby Australia (or whatever it is called) is the party showing small-mindedness and intolerance, not Folau. Folau is not personally threatening anyone specifically and should be free to express his views.

I see that Barry Humphries has just had his name removed from the Barry Award for expressing views on transgender issues.

Totally sick of political correctness permeating every nook and cranny of our society.

So I take it that you are in the freedom of expression camp trumps contractual obligation camp?

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jw1739    9,441
7 minutes ago, NewConvert said:

So I take it that you are in the freedom of expression camp trumps contractual obligation camp?

I don't believe that sports bodies such as Rugby Australia should be making socio-political statements or undertakings of the type that they have. They are just being politically correct. And I believe that if they do make such statements or undertakings they should be careful not to intrude into the freedom of expression of individuals. Not to allow individuals to express dissenting opinions is hypocritical and contradicts the very "inclusivity" that they say they are promoting.

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Tesla    8,211
21 hours ago, Tesla said:

Nothing interesting in the federal election unless Shorten manages to throw it away somehow, which he is having a good crack at.

Whole thing is pretty shit, tired of the government putting it's hand out left, right, and center once you make more money than the average person, and Labor is going to take it even further.

But what can you do, just make even more or go to a low tax country for a few years.

Just to elaborate on this, the problem is that it's not just the income tax rate, it's that there are so many things targeting people on middle class incomes.

Firstly you have tax offsets for low income, so their tax rate isn't as high as the tax brackets suggest, where as middle and high income earners don't get this. Then you have the MLS, where someone earning just 90k+ a year has to either pay an extra 2% tax or buy health insurance they don't need. Speaking of health insurance, the subsidies fall off pretty quickly as well around that mark. Then you have all the benefits that get cut as well, eg things like childcare subsidy etc.

The net effect is that middle income earners face marginal tax rates of 100%+ in some cases.

All taxes and/or lack of subsidy based on income should be bundled into the income tax rates, for transparency reasons, and to ensure there aren't cases where ludicrous marginal tax rates are in effect, causing massive economic inefficiency.

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NewConvert    829
On 4/20/2019 at 9:10 PM, jw1739 said:

I don't believe that sports bodies such as Rugby Australia should be making socio-political statements or undertakings of the type that they have. They are just being politically correct. And I believe that if they do make such statements or undertakings they should be careful not to intrude into the freedom of expression of individuals. Not to allow individuals to express dissenting opinions is hypocritical and contradicts the very "inclusivity" that they say they are promoting.

I think that this why I would like to see the whole thing end up in the courts - to test the limits. As far as socio-political statements are concerned, this has always been a contentious issue within sports, specially professional sports. After all in the USA there used to be a white players basketball league and a non-white players basketball league. In small communities the sports club forms part of teh social glue. And of course Hitler knew the power of sport to promote nazism.

So I am not adverse to sports making statements but I do wonder where the limits are both as to how far they should lead/follow and how effective they are in achieving/promoting those goals.

I will also add that when reporter Scott McIntyre was sacked by SBS for posting contemptuous post about the Anzacs, the then Freedom Commissioner Tim Wilson, now federal MP, said that it was a contractual matter as Scott was not being prevented from expressing his views. These days it appears that he has changed his mind without explaining what caused that change.

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NewConvert    829
13 hours ago, Tesla said:

Just to elaborate on this, the problem is that it's not just the income tax rate, it's that there are so many things targeting people on middle class incomes.

Firstly you have tax offsets for low income, so their tax rate isn't as high as the tax brackets suggest, where as middle and high income earners don't get this. Then you have the MLS, where someone earning just 90k+ a year has to either pay an extra 2% tax or buy health insurance they don't need. Speaking of health insurance, the subsidies fall off pretty quickly as well around that mark. Then you have all the benefits that get cut as well, eg things like childcare subsidy etc.

The net effect is that middle income earners face marginal tax rates of 100%+ in some cases.

All taxes and/or lack of subsidy based on income should be bundled into the income tax rates, for transparency reasons, and to ensure there aren't cases where ludicrous marginal tax rates are in effect, causing massive economic inefficiency.

I agree with the lack of transparency. Interestingly, when Peter Costello was Treasurer he asked former banker and mining exec John Ralph to conduct an inquiry into the tax system (and very much a right winger), the report had transparency as a major concern. Specifically he wanted to eliminate Trusts. Peter Costello got rolled & AFAIK the coalition did not implement any of the recommendations. Sadly the ALP ducked the issue.

Also the ones who are affected the most with respect to marginal rates are those on low incomes because as soon as circumstances change all subsidies get removed, leaving them worse off. In the UK  both Blair and Cameron amended the system to taper off the subsidies. Again AFAIK there is no move afoot in Australia by the major parties to remove this disincentive.

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malloy    3,759
4 hours ago, NewConvert said:

I agree with the lack of transparency. Interestingly, when Peter Costello was Treasurer he asked former banker and mining exec John Ralph to conduct an inquiry into the tax system (and very much a right winger), the report had transparency as a major concern. Specifically he wanted to eliminate Trusts. Peter Costello got rolled & AFAIK the coalition did not implement any of the recommendations. Sadly the ALP ducked the issue.

Also the ones who are affected the most with respect to marginal rates are those on low incomes because as soon as circumstances change all subsidies get removed, leaving them worse off. In the UK  both Blair and Cameron amended the system to taper off the subsidies. Again AFAIK there is no move afoot in Australia by the major parties to remove this disincentive.

Actually, the coalition implemented numerous recommendations of the Ralph Report, the big one they steared clear of was the recommendation to move away from the long standing principle of only taxing realised gains (whether income or capital). 

Also, FWIW, the Ralph Report did not recommend the eliminatiom of trusts and to think it did just shows the lack of understanding (general population and polititians included) of what a trust is which leads to everyone conflating the general law and tax aspects of trusts. 

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Tesla    8,211
5 hours ago, NewConvert said:

 

Also the ones who are affected the most with respect to marginal rates are those on low incomes because as soon as circumstances change all subsidies get removed, leaving them worse off. In the UK  both Blair and Cameron amended the system to taper off the subsidies. Again AFAIK there is no move afoot in Australia by the major parties to remove this disincentive.

Well I suppose it depends on your definition of low income, but the point where the most significant subsidy cuts and marginal tax rates occur is at what I would classify as middle incomes.

But that's exactly the point, unless we're going to go through all the possible permutations, the lack of transparency makes it hard to say.

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jw1739    9,441

TBH I wish that we would reduce the number of elections in which we have to participate. IMO quite a few people suffer from "election overload" and I think that reduces the degree of thought that they actually use before casting their vote. I'd like to see all our parliaments move to a 5-year term, all State and Commonwealth elections held simultaneously, and a common electoral roll, regulations and regulatory body. Just as an example, applying to two separate organizations for a postal vote doesn't make sense to me.

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NewConvert    829
3 hours ago, jw1739 said:

TBH I wish that we would reduce the number of elections in which we have to participate. IMO quite a few people suffer from "election overload" and I think that reduces the degree of thought that they actually use before casting their vote. I'd like to see all our parliaments move to a 5-year term, all State and Commonwealth elections held simultaneously, and a common electoral roll, regulations and regulatory body. Just as an example, applying to two separate organizations for a postal vote doesn't make sense to me.

4 year terms for my taste and common electoral roll. I don't think that the state and federal elections should be held on the same date but if all states/territories held their elections on the same day it would work. So three dates: one federal, one for all state elections and one for all municipal elections.

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jw1739    9,441
33 minutes ago, NewConvert said:

4 year terms for my taste and common electoral roll. I don't think that the state and federal elections should be held on the same date but if all states/territories held their elections on the same day it would work. So three dates: one federal, one for all state elections and one for all municipal elections.

@NewConvert What's your view on "compulsory voting" and associated matters? I really object to having to number every single box when all I wish to do is number those candidates whom I feel can do a reasonable job if elected. The rest of them I know little or nothing about, and I find I vote in the reverse order - that is I nominate my least-acceptable as my last choice and work upwards from there. I just think that it is stupid to have to give some sort of preference to every candidate.

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NewConvert    829
47 minutes ago, jw1739 said:

@NewConvert What's your view on "compulsory voting" and associated matters? I really object to having to number every single box when all I wish to do is number those candidates whom I feel can do a reasonable job if elected. The rest of them I know little or nothing about, and I find I vote in the reverse order - that is I nominate my least-acceptable as my last choice and work upwards from there. I just think that it is stupid to have to give some sort of preference to every candidate.

I am a firm believer in "compulsory voting" - in practice it reduces hyper-partisanship, provides a wider pool of candidates and reduces extremism. Over time I have found that when a governing party strays too far away from competence or to an extreme, the voters who would otherwise be disengaged will become engaged and turf them out. Preferential voting is the only way I have of reaching a compromise candidate with the other 120k electors in my seat.

For the house of reps, you don't have to number all of the boxes you can leave the last candidate unmarked and that still counts. However, like yourself I also work backwards, from the most objectionable one gets the last box and then work my way up to the preferred candidate. On two occasions I did not have an objectionable candidate but no party enthused me so I voted blank. I think the most I have ever seen for a house of reps ballot paper were six candidates, although I believe that some other seats have had up to eight. I don't think that it is a big burden.

Where I do have objections is the Senate. That is ridiculous. The whole thing is skewered to vote above the line and let the parties decide the preferences. If you don't like the way the parties have done preferences then you are going to spend a lot of time writing the ballot and then checking to ensure that you haven't screwed it up. Now I am not sure whether you were here in the 80s when this system was introduced. The above the line was introduced to reduce the number of invalid votes which was about 40% for the Senate compared to less than 5% for teh house of reps. Thus they introduced the above the line system and that did reduce the invalid number of ballots.

I am hoping that they introduce electronic voting so that the voter just drags and drops the numbers next to the candidates name. And no I don't mean vote at home over the web. You would still attend the voting place where the touch screens would be networked locally (no external connection) and a printer. This would have the advantage of providing a quick count although not final, the printed ballot can be used as proof of voting, and it is easier for the voters to use. The disadvantage is that the election coverage by the networks will be drastically reduced. Of course the results would only be broadcast one hour after WA has finished voting for federal elections. Note that postal votes would still be by paper which means that in close elections the results would still drag on.

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bt50    4,667
On 20/04/2019 at 9:10 PM, jw1739 said:

I don't believe that sports bodies such as Rugby Australia should be making socio-political statements or undertakings of the type that they have. They are just being politically correct. And I believe that if they do make such statements or undertakings they should be careful not to intrude into the freedom of expression of individuals. Not to allow individuals to express dissenting opinions is hypocritical and contradicts the very "inclusivity" that they say they are promoting.

Tend to agree. I think there's a vast difference between a player expressing an opinion via normal channels, versus using the sporting body as a platform to spread that too. Ie im fine with someone expressing their views, no matter how clever or stupid via their social media, like the rest of us do, but i reckon the sporting body would have every right to intervene when it came to matchday expressions etc such as goal celebrations, press conferences etc as that directly is associated with their brand.

Obviously there is a going to be connections made no matter where it comes from, but imo thats the best mix of personal freedoms vs maintaining the integrity of the governing body.

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jw1739    9,441

Don't know which thread this belongs in - it could go in quite a few. But IMO it's ridiculous that candidate after candidate is resigning on "political correctness" lines because they made some off-colour remark about something years ago. Who hasn't done something like that? You're not a genuine human being if you don't make a mistake now and then.

The country has just gone stupid with all this crap.

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NewConvert    829
15 hours ago, jw1739 said:

Don't know which thread this belongs in - it could go in quite a few. But IMO it's ridiculous that candidate after candidate is resigning on "political correctness" lines because they made some off-colour remark about something years ago. Who hasn't done something like that? You're not a genuine human being if you don't make a mistake now and then.

The country has just gone stupid with all this crap.

I mostly agree. There is a time line though where you would need to say have you learnt from this? Example, bagging team mate Tim Wilson a few months ago should lead to dis-endorsement. Having said something in your teens/early 20s or 10 years ago is not a hanging offence. Confession, I had wet dreams as a teenager where I treated girls for my own sexual gratification, that would disqualify me from running for any public office.

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cadete    6,204

1. CW for Scomo to be gone, he his a perfect example of how of date the Coalition has become and needs a reboot under Frydenburg.

2. What would have happened if a Muslim Sportsman had such comments?

I think everyone can agree that it would have been a much more complicated than total outrage from almost all.

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NewConvert    829
50 minutes ago, cadete said:

1. CW for Scomo to be gone, he his a perfect example of how of date the Coalition has become and needs a reboot under Frydenburg.

2. What would have happened if a Muslim Sportsman had such comments?

I think everyone can agree that it would have been a much more complicated than total outrage from almost all.

Welcome back.

One thing that bothers me is whether as a Melbournian/Victorian we are the outlier compared to the rest of Oz. I travel to SA a lot for work and I certainly don't detect the animosity that the Feds get in Victoria.

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Shahanga    4,463
On 08/05/2019 at 9:31 PM, NewConvert said:

Welcome back.

One thing that bothers me is whether as a Melbournian/Victorian we are the outlier compared to the rest of Oz. I travel to SA a lot for work and I certainly don't detect the animosity that the Feds get in Victoria.

It also bothers me.

for the opposite reason though.

moving to Victoria was like entering the twilight zone.

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NewConvert    829
23 minutes ago, Shahanga said:

It also bothers me.

for the opposite reason though.

moving to Victoria was like entering the twilight zone.

At lunch time I decided to check some of the minor parties/independents running for the senate. Now that was the twilight zone.

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Tangerine    56

Regardless of my views on the next 3years, I think no party will be courageous enough to look at serious tax reform for a very very long time (deductions, NG, superannuation). While I didn’t agree with all the proposed ALP changes I do think our tax system has some serious distortions and leaks. I had hoped that if the ALP got in alongside a more conservative Senate we could potentially of improved some things without upending the economy (kept ALP, in check). Future elections will be fought on ‘small target’ platforms. No leaders will be brave and foolish enough to try what Shorten did....(only in hindsight will we know if that has been good for democracy).

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malloy    3,759
38 minutes ago, Tangerine said:

Regardless of my views on the next 3years, I think no party will be courageous enough to look at serious tax reform for a very very long time (deductions, NG, superannuation). While I didn’t agree with all the proposed ALP changes I do think our tax system has some serious distortions and leaks. I had hoped that if the ALP got in alongside a more conservative Senate we could potentially of improved some things without upending the economy (kept ALP, in check). Future elections will be fought on ‘small target’ platforms. No leaders will be brave and foolish enough to try what Shorten did....(only in hindsight will we know if that has been good for democracy).

I don't think so. The problem was that Shorten was firing from the hip with his policies and taking a scorched earth approach. In that he didn't care how much collateral damage there was to others as long as he hit his intended targets. The only problem is that his supposed policies were poorly thought through and would more readily be circumvented by wealthier people. Where as middle income earners and small business owners would be fucked over.

It also didn't help that his policies, whilst being touted as "equitable" would still look after unions, in that NG would still be available on new housing, industry funds would still get the full benefits of franking credits (where as an SMSF wouldn't) and unions would still get a full refund of franking credits. Throw in the fact that he called certain deductions a rort, which the Commissioner of Tax stated was not an issue after the ATO had looked into it.

I am going to put my neck out and say that more labor voters engage in tax fraud than liberal voters. 

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jw1739    9,441

Shorten made a serious mistake in targeting the self-funded retiree/SMSF demographic, alienating not only them but indirectly their adult children at the same time. 

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Tangerine    56
18 hours ago, malloy said:

It also didn't help that his policies, whilst being touted as "equitable" would still look after unions, in that NG would still be available on new housing, industry funds would still get the full benefits of franking credits (where as an SMSF wouldn't) and unions would still get a full refund of franking credits. 

I am going to put my neck out and say that more labor voters engage in tax fraud than liberal voters. 

Yep, well reasoned and argued. I strongly agree with the bit above - franking credits and type of fund. You can't make tax changes that only apply to certain people or types of investment.

But i do not believe the current negative gearing approach is equitable (I say this as a home owner). There is only one housing market - investors compete against first home buyers everywhere. So my view is that since ALL are an 'investment' then either mortgages should be tax deductions (this has the advantage of reducing tax collected) OR negative gearing shouldn't be allowed anywhere (which recognises that property is fundamentally not the same as other investments). What we have is a half-way house that works more to the benefit of investors and those who already own property.

On the last bit, you might be right when it comes to 'tax fraud'. I think many voters of all colours engage in substantial tax minimisation. My view is that any party in Government should give this a look as not all deductions add economic value to Australia. Any additional tax collected should be used to reduce marginal tax rates (which in my opinion are a more equitable approach to tax reform).

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malloy    3,759
3 hours ago, Tangerine said:

Yep, well reasoned and argued. I strongly agree with the bit above - franking credits and type of fund. You can't make tax changes that only apply to certain people or types of investment.

But i do not believe the current negative gearing approach is equitable (I say this as a home owner). There is only one housing market - investors compete against first home buyers everywhere. So my view is that since ALL are an 'investment' then either mortgages should be tax deductions (this has the advantage of reducing tax collected) OR negative gearing shouldn't be allowed anywhere (which recognises that property is fundamentally not the same as other investments). What we have is a half-way house that works more to the benefit of investors and those who already own property.

On the last bit, you might be right when it comes to 'tax fraud'. I think many voters of all colours engage in substantial tax minimisation. My view is that any party in Government should give this a look as not all deductions add economic value to Australia. Any additional tax collected should be used to reduce marginal tax rates (which in my opinion are a more equitable approach to tax reform).

The way to tackle the negative gearing issue would have been to implement a similar system to that of deferred non-commercial losses. So essentially you would need to be under a certain level of taxable income (before deducting the net investment loss) to be allowed to deduct it. If you weren't then the loss would be carried forward to only be offset against future investment income or if your taxable income dropped below a certain level. This would have utilised a system that would be familar to tax accountants to also allow middle income earners to NG and build wealth.

Regarding the franking credits (and my position on this has changed in that i am full opposed to scrapping credit refunds), the correct and 'equitable' way to have implemented it (as it was largely about SMSFs receiving refunds, and adult chikdren receiving them via investment trusts whi h i will touch on below) would have been to  simply deny franking credits based on either the actuary percentage or whether the assetsderiving the franking credits were seggregated pension assets (dependent on what method is used for tax purposes). This would signal that the policy intention was for it to be equitable.

Regarding the trust withhokdibg tax a more simple metjod to achieve what was the true target, which was essentially giving trust distributions to adult children (usually at uni and earning next to no income) and for the money to actually end ul with the parents is to remove a sub paragraph in s 100A of the 1936 act, which carves out ordinary family dealings from the 'reimbursement' anti avoidance measures. Now ig the kids sctually receive tge funds from their paper distribution then we shouldnt care if they get a refund because they have actually received the income.

On your point about mortgage interest being deductible there are some european countries which allow this, however they also have a notional rent that you declare as income. That way it doesnt distort the benefit of the deductions towards ownership and woukd largely keep ownership and renting on equal footing (albeit you would still have CGT Exemption for main residence). Without having thought about it too much I think bringing to account a notional rent as income would be the way to go if you were going to allow deductions for main res mortgage etc. 

Finally, The distinction between fraud and minimisation is that one is illegal and one is not (as when you push boundaries too much it becomes avoidance). The actual tax fraud I was specifically referring to was nearly every tradey (experience and anecdotally) doing cash jobs and not declaring that income in their tax return, not remitting the GST on that income or who runs the cost of material in renovating or extending their house or garage through their business and claims a deduction for it. 

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